Creativity and strangers’ kindness in time of crisis

Creativity and strangers’ kindness in time of crisis

Shown in this picture is the culmination of a relay race through 4 countries, 2 continents, 4 people, to deliver an important medicine to someone in need in Beirut.

This medicine was bought in Toulon (France) by a friend, arrived in Zurich (Switzerland) by train and was handed to one of our volunteers; it was then mailed to Geneva (Switzerland) to a kind stranger found on Twitter, then taken by him to Ferrara (Italy) and given to another stranger, who flew to Beirut and finally gave it to its recipient.

Given the dire economic conditions of Lebanon, many medicines cannot longer be found in the country (along with fuel, electricity, drinkable water, and many other necessities).

FAID’s 2022 Summer Camp

FAID’s 2022 Summer Camp




Last month FAID, the school for deaf children we have been supporting for 15 years now, ran a summer camp for its pupils. It was divided into two weeks, for the very young children and the older ones. It went very well!

The first week was attended by 18 children (from Lebanon and Syria), including from refugee families involved in FAID’s Outreach Program.

The second week saw 28 participants (Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian), again with the very welcome participations of children from the Outreach Program.

It was a great success!  Full of fun outdoor activities within and outside the school – and the children were delighted.

Lebanon Trust donated EUR 3600 to cover the summer camp food and fuel and the outings.

Thank you to all our generous supporters!

May 2022: trip to Lebanon

Above: The lovely card made for us by the children of FAID.

May 2022: a visit to Lebanon after a long absence

Dear friends and supporters,

In late May two of our volunteers spent ten days in Lebanon, after an absence of more than two years. We regret to report that the situation in the country has dramatically worsened; it is difficult to describe the misery and penury people must endure.

The services traditionally provided by the government have essentially disappeared. There is nearly no electricity (less than 1 hour a day in the capital Beirut, and unpredictable), no drinkable water, no public transport. Friends said that police do not intervene when called, as they lack petrol for their cars. Traffic lights don’t work. Medicines are either not available or too expensive. The banking sector has all but collapsed; even those who have funds cannot withdraw money beyond a certain arbitrary, and fluctuating, limit. The currency has lost almost all its value and is extremely volatile. Those who can have left the country, or are trying to leave.

Until mid- to late 2019, 100’000 Lebanese Lira (about 70 dollars, or 65 euro) were a respectable sum, enough to buy meat, cheese, vegetables and so on. Now it’s worth less than 3 dollars, and won’t buy an ice-cream. Salaries, of course, have stayed the same – so people who used to have a decent, if modest, salary now earn the equivalent of 30 or 40 dollars at most. Many essentials are imported, first and foremost fuel, necessary for transport and for electricity generators – hence the skyrocketing prices for food, medicine, transport and electricity. Apartment buildings have their own private generators that work at set times, so that people who cannot climb stairs have to go out and come back according to the generator’s schedule to use the lift. Refrigerators cannot be used.

Many shops and restaurants have closed; there is much less traffic than before; the city is dark at night. Young men scavenge garbage bins looking for items to resell or for scrap metal. There are many beggars, young and old. The modern city centre near the Parliament, completely rebuilt after the civil war and once full of high-end shops and restaurants, is now cordoned off and totally deserted, guarded by underpaid soldiers.

Elections on May 15 brought some new faces – and many old ones – to the Parliament. One hopes that things will improve.

Of course, there is still a minority of wealthy people in the country, so one can see luxury cars and full restaurants in certain areas.

Our volunteers visited FAID, a school for deaf children, and two kindergartens for refugee children. We have been supporting these institutions for many years now.

  • The FAID school this year has more than 80 pupils, from kindergarten to high school, and functions from Monday to Thursday to reduce costs. About 30 children – boys and girls – are boarders, sleeping at the school 3 nights a week. A nearby plot has been converted into a vegetable garden, complete with chicken, geese, rabbits and goats, by the school’s caretaker. The school survives on donations (including from large organisations such as UNICEF) of money and food, as the government has halted all financing. As the harsh conditions of life in the country impact children as well, the teachers would like to organise a “summer camp” in July to offer them some respite, where the pupils (divided into 2 groups) can spend five days & nights at the school and do fun activities.We donated EUR 3600, to cover the summer camp food and fuel for 10 days (60 children in total), and one outing. In addition, we financed a replacement water pump for the school (EUR 220) and did some light maintenance work (EUR 40 for materials).

 

  • We also donated EUR 1700 to the kindergarten of the refugee camp of Chatila in Beirut, and EUR 1700 to that of the Burj el-Shemali camp in Tyre in southern Lebanon, run by the Association Najdeh, for their operational expenses and purchase of educational material for the children. Thanks to solar panels and batteries, they have electricity all day. The teachers at these two institutions are exceptionally active, motivated and resourceful, really making the most of the scarce and ever-decreasing resources they have. In Burj el-Shemali they also prepared a wonderful Palestinian lunch for us!

We would like to thank our generous donors from the bottom of our hearts for their continued support.

Summary: Disbursements to the supported institutions, expenses (Euro)

May 2022
Donation to FAID for the summer camp 3600.00
FAID’s water pump and materials 260.00
Donations to Association Najdeh (refugee camps) 3400.00
Total 7260.00

 

below: with the FAID pupils and teachers

 

At the refugee kindergartens: classrooms, the teachers and a very happy volunteer about to enjoy a yummy lunch, and the ever-successful soap bubbles

   

FAID’s vegetable garden:

 

A bit of light maintenance work by the volunteers:

  

   

 

Kevin’s 3 Peaks+Khumbu challenge

A daring fundraiser: Kevin’s 3 Peaks+Khumbu challenge

A message from Kevin

In the two years since my last 3 Peaks challenge much as changed, and not for the better.. including the hardship endured every day by innocent children supported by Lebanon Trust. Their need is still great.

This fundraiser sees me traveling to Nepal for a personal challenge – To attempt to climb 3 mountains close to or over 6,000 metres – Lobouche East, Pokalde and Island Peak. All classic mountains in the Khumbu region.

I will be doing the trip with the memory of some very special people in my heart, including my wonderful brother Gary, who died from Covid, and a beautiful young person, Sailor Court who died far too young. Both within days of each other in September 2021.

In their memory, I will have their names on prayer flags that I will leave at the highest points on the 3 mountains.. 

If you leave a donation, please let me know if you would like a loved one’s name included on the prayer flags, so that I may pay respect to your memory of them, along side my own loved one’s, especially Gary and Sailor.

Thank you so much. Wish me luck.

Kevin

You can donate directly to Lebanon Trust, or through Kevin’s JustGiving page.

Many heartfelt thanks to the friends who helped this year

We would like to thank with all our hearts the friends who helped this year (Dec 1st, 2020 – Nov 30th, 2021)

 Your generosity goes far and makes a difference!

• Mick Halpin & family (Dublin & USA), for the constant generosity & encouragement
• Alfonsus Baars, very generous (unknown) supporter
• MC Ferraro & A Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy)
• Martina Merkle (Zurich, Switzerland), loyal & generous friend and supporter
• The pupils and the teachers Ms Kron & Ms Holmes of the A1f class of the Schulhaus Stägenbuck (Dübendorf, Switzerland)
• Fam Bertolotto-Della Penna (Genoa, Italy)
• Luca Baur (Zurich, Switzerland)
• Ole Vossnack (Zurich, Switzerland)
• Enrico & Lilli Bertolotto (Genoa, Italy)
• Fam. Aquini (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
• Iolanda Bianchi (Genoa, Italy)
• Giovanna Lottero-Pellegrini (Genoa, Italy)
• Fam. Ricci (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
• Patricia Meade, loyal & generous friend (Ca., USA)
• Fam Prola-Smith (London, UK)
• Fam. Ponzano (Arquata Scrivia, Italy)
• Catherine Poeydomenge (Zurich, Switzerland)
• John & Shannon Zuzek
• Giorgio Margotti (Livorno, Italy)
• Silvana Falaschini (Livorno, Italy)
• Fam Zappavigna (Marina di Massa, Italy)
• Stefano Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy)
• F & M Cocurullo & fam (Genoa, Italy)
• Amazon Inc.
• Clarisse Mauer, Karina Browne (Apple Inc)
• Alexandra Ertmane (PayPal Inc)
• Jad Al Abdallah (Google Inc)
• Sarah Abdelhadi (Google Inc)
• All the lads at Hoistech Engineering (Dublin, Ireland)
• Paul’s Barber Shop, Crumlin (Dublin)
• All the generous Walkinstown friends in St Peter’s Crescent and St Peter’s Drive for their constant support
• McCormack’s Cycle Centre (Dublin)
• O’Neill’s House of Sport (Dublin)
• Paul Reid Dental Laboratories (Dublin)
• Kelly’s Welding & Engineering Supplies Ltd (Dublin)
• Gerard Kelly (Dublin)
• All the lads at Bisset Engineering (Dublin)
• Big Mick (Dublin)
• Brenden & staff at Lilliput Stores (Dublin)
• Pat Stafford of Stafford Engineering (Dublin)
• Dolphin Furniture Sales (Dublin)
• QK Living Kitchens & Bedrooms (Dublin)
• ProWeld (Dublin)
• Griffin Digital Print (Dublin)
• The Terence Welding Company (Dublin)
• Romilda Cocurullo (Genoa, Italy)
• Luisa & Roberto Fontana (Genoa, Italy)
• Philip Kinsella (Dublin, Ireland)

what we did in 2021

What we did in 2021

 

Download 2021 report

Dear friends and supporters,

For the second time since our beginnings in 2008, we were not able to travel to Lebanon this year.

The year 2021 was no better than 2020 for Lebanon. The country has been grappling with an economic and financial meltdown since the fall of 2019; the severe repercussions of the 2020 Beirut Port explosion; the continued effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the spill-over effects of the ongoing Syrian crisis.

The currency has lost over 95% of its value, prices have skyrocketed, the government no longer subsidises essentials like medicine, bread and fuel; electricity and water are available for only a few hours per day. The situation continues to get worse, poverty is increasing dramatically, and the hardships of ordinary people are becoming insurmountable. The value of the minimum monthly salary is barely above 20 dollars (17 euro) now.

According to the latest UN data, 82% of the population now live below the poverty line (and 34% live in ‘extreme poverty’).

In this tragic scenario, what we can do is really a very little – but still more than nothing.

In total, we sent 25’100 dollars, equally split between FAID, the school for deaf children that we have been supporting since 2008, and Association Najdeh, working in Lebanon’s refugee camps.

FAID used the funds to

  • Buy fuel for generators and heaters (4 tonnes, USD 3200)
  • Finance a speech therapist, who teaches the deaf children to speak and lip-read (USD 9350)

Najdeh used the funds to

  • Cover (part of) the running costs of the kindergartens of the refugee camps of Shatila (in Beirut) and Burj el-Shemali (in Tyre); this includes operational expenses such as staff salaries and children’s meals
  • Buy educational materials and books for the children

Below, the children of FAID show their appreciation for our work & send a big THANK YOU to all:

This year we manage to disburse slightly more than last year, but unfortunately our fundraising did not match the entire sum. It was heart-warming, however, to see that so many friends are very generous. Thank you!

One of our volunteers raised funds by taking painting commissions: here you see some of the artwork. Commissions are open! All proceeds in favour of Lebanon Trust.

         

Income: donations to Lebanon Trust (Euro) (Dec 1st, 2020 – Nov 30th, 2021)

Fundraising initiatives, private donations, corporate sponsorships
Total 19276.37

(Year close Nov 30, 2021; EUR/USD/CHF currency exchange rate: as applied by our bank in Ireland)

Expenditure: Disbursements to the supported institutions, expenses (Euro)

Bank and PayPal fees, web hosting & domains 180.87
Donation to FAID 11224.39
Donations to Association Najdeh (refugee camps) 11224.39
Total 22629.65
Difference -3353.28

(*) Permanent TSB Forex, PayPal

We received many donations through Benevity, The Irish Online Giving Foundation and The UK Online Giving Foundation (thank you Mick!).

A donation to Najdeh

A donation to the refugee kindergartens

We are proud and delighted to report that we were able to send USD 12550 to our friends of the Association Najdeh, in support of their kindergartens, for educational material, food, running costs. These kindergartens are for children of refugee families. The money arrived this past week. A huge THANK YOU to all our donors.

More art for Lebanon

Art for Lebanon: A discerning buyer and more funds for our projects

This painting is a faithful recreation of a rare 1935 poster from Arquata Scrivia (Italy) advertising a summer cattle fair (Fiera di San Bartolomeo) . Complete with reproductions of the date stamp “12 AGO 1935, Anno XIII” (of the fascist era) and the signature of the then Podestà (Mayor) Luigi Lasagna.

Acrylic on canvas, cm 50×70, painted and donated by one of our volunteers, and sold in favour of our work in Lebanon.

Confirmed! Choir Concert in Tralee

Confirmed! Choir Concert in Tralee

Confirmed!

Saturday, November 21, 2021, 7.30 pm, at St John’s Parish RC Church in Tralee (Co. Kerry, Ireland):
Charity Choir Concert in support of Lebanon Trust.
Featuring and kindly supported by:
St John’s Church Choir
The National Folk Theatre Choir
Kerry Chamber Choir
Kerry School of Music Orchestra
Opus 96 Choir
and special solo performances.
All proceeds in favour of deaf & refugee children in Lebanon.

Don’t miss this event !!!!

art for Lebanon

Art for Lebanon

“St Anthony Church in the moonlight ” and “Sunny afternoon at St Anthony Church”, oil paintings by one of our volunteers, have been sold in favour of our projects in Lebanon.

Thank you!

Kevin’s charity concert

A choir concert for Lebanon in Tralee

On Saturday, Nov 21, 2021, at /.70 pm, at St. John’s Parish RC Church in Tralee, a great Choir Concert will take place, featuring:

St. John’s Church Choir
Siamsa Tire Choir
Kerry Chamber Choir with the KSM Orchestra
and special solo performances

All invited. Tickets on sale at the door – all proceeds in favour of our projects for Lebanon.

Thank you to all the singers and organisers!

thank you unknown donor

A very generous donation

We recently received a donation of more than EUR 4000 from Mr Alfonsus Baar. While we don’t know this gentleman or his contact details, we would like to express all our gratitude for his exceptional generosity. As always, we will do our utmost best to make sure that this money is well spent.

August 2021: A letter from FAID, school for the deaf

August 2021: A letter from FAID, school for the deaf

Dear friends,

as you all know, this are exceptionally hard times for Lebanon, struggling with a severe financial crisis, a 90% devaluation of its currency, soaring prices, shortages of fuel, electricity, water, medicine, food.

Lebanon Trust keeps raising funds for FAID, the school for deaf children that we help since 2008, as well as two kindergartens for refugees.

Recently FAID sent an update for all its supporters:

Greetings from the FAID family!

Thank you on behalf of the FAID family for all the support we have received from you over the years, especially during the last two years. Running our school in an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic has been highly challenging.
A school cannot be run without staff. Through your help and support, we have held onto our team and continued paying wages. However, the hyperinflation in Lebanon has reduced the buying power of the wages by a lot. One Lebanese pound is now worth less than one-tenth of what it was two years ago. Your support also enabled us to provide food parcels on three occasions for all families – students’ families and staff – connected to the school.

A blessing came out of Covid 19. Several lockdowns reduced our face to face teaching time severely. So we needed to find another way to help our children and their parents develop their educational skills. Our staff made several videos each week. Each video had a particular topic. The video “OPPOSITES,” for example, explained all about up and down, in and out, high and low, etc. These videos, made for WhatsApp, were easy to use by parents.
Covid’s blessing helped parents in Lebanon to become teachers of their deaf children. Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced building family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more, and most of all, reduced the emotional trauma that exists in families having children with special needs.

Providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during Covid is very challenging. Again because of your help, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible.
We would heartily appreciate your keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.
Our political and economic situation is extremely worrying.
There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, electricity and sometimes food and the prices are going up on a regular daily basis. We know we can depend on your continued support, and for that, we are tremendously grateful.

A generous, creative & clever school class in Switzerland

A generous, creative & very clever school class

A huge THANK YOU to our loyal supporter Luca Baur, all his classmates and the teachers Ms Kron and Ms Holmes of the A1f class of the Schulhaus Stägenbuck (Stägenbuck Secondary School) in Dübendorf, Switzerland!

The kids convinced family, neighbors & friends to sponsor one-hour runs. The minimum donation per 400m-lap was CHF 0.50 (less than EUR 0.50). It was the first school activity they were able to do without wearing a mask since September last year.

These generous, brave, creative, and athletic kids collected the marvellous sum of EUR 1900 in favour of Lebanon Trust.

All our gratitude to them, their teachers and their families who donated time and money to our projects!